West Tunnell came on in the seventh inning and locked down the visiting Boise Hawks for the save. Allowing one hit and no score for Hawks, the Hillsboro Hops went on to win 5-2 to take the three game series 2-1.the
The Hops bats erupted in the first inning with all they would need for the win. However, it would remain close until the sixth inning when the Hops scored two more to increase the safety margin. That scoring involved new Hops teammate Terrence Connelly who took the designated hitter position in the line-up. Connelly came from the AZL D-backs on Wednesday, July 25th. Out of UNC Wilmington, the 40th round draft choice of the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2017 played last year for the Missoula Osprey. Terrence’s contribution was a ground out but it did score the first run of the inning bringing home Jake McCarthy who walked to start the inning. Jorge Perez bunt sacrificed Keyshawn Lynch home for the second score.
West Tunnell Takes Control
After the score became 5-2, reliever West Tunnell (S, 1) took the mound and allowed only Daniel Jipping to reach base with his double in the eighth. Coming into the game with two outs in the seventh, Tunnell struck out Luke Morgan swinging to end the inning. In the eighth, wrapped around Jipping’s hit, Tunnell struck out three Hawks batters stranding Jipping at second. To complete his mastery of the mound, Tunnell came on in the ninth to force three Hawks batters into ground outs for a three up/ three down inning for his first save of the year.
Ryan Weiss started for the Hops and pitched two fine innings on a limited pitch count. Kenny Hernandez (W, 3-2) took over in the third to earn the win.
Commanding Opening Statement
The first and sixth innings were the only two sources of scoring for the Hops and they couldn’t have been much different from each other. The first inning featured a barrage of hits with the backbone being Jose Caballero’s two run homer to left for his fifth home run of the season. A third run came when Keyshawn Lynch singled home Andy Yerzy. In total, the Hops scores three runs on four hits and sent eight batters to the plate.
The sixth was a different animal. Instead of bulling their way through the bases, this time the Hops used every tool like a fox scoring two runs on only Keyshawn Lynch’s ground rule double for a hit. Throw in a bunt sacrifice, a ground out to first, a walk and the Hops efficiently increased the score.
Hops First Place Tie
The win carries the Hillsboro Hops (2-1) into a first place tie with the Eugene Emeralds (2-1) who also won tonight. The loss dropped the Boise Hawks (1-2) into a tie with the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes (1-2). The two teams are one game behind the Southern Division leaders.
The Hops will travel to the Spokane Indians (3-0, leading Northern Division) to start a five game series. Matt Tabor (1-1) is scheduled to start opposite Ryan Dease (4-2) for the Indians. The Boise Hawks will return home to host the Tri-City Dust Devils for a five game homestand.
Former Hop Daniel Palka blasted two home runs for Chicago White Sox on Thursday. Check out other Hops alumni to see where they are.